The Bahamas Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources has reportedly announced its decision to prohibit all commercial shark fishing in its waters, citing a shark tourism industry that generates $80 million in revenue each year. According to media reports, the ban would encompass 240,000 square miles and protect approximately 40 shark species present in the area. The new protections were purportedly needed after a seafood export firm last year proposed fishing the Bahamas for shark fins, a plan that quickly met resistance from the Bahamas National Trust and the Pew Environment Group.
“The Bahamas government is determined to enhance the protection extended to sharks,” stated Agriculture and Marine Resources Minister Lawrence Cartwright. “As we are all aware, sharks are heavily fished in many corners of the world’s oceans.” See The Washington Post, July 5, 2011.